[MUD-Dev] Re: Prepositions and parsing

clawrenc at cup.hp.com clawrenc at cup.hp.com
Tue May 13 10:21:24 New Zealand Standard Time 1997


In <Marcel-1.09-0511103447-0b0Ky&5 at Gryphon.iaehv.nl>, on 05/11/97 
   at 08:58 AM, Marian Griffith <gryphon at iaehv.nl> said:

>On Fri 09 May, clawrenc at cup.hp.com wrote:

>> True.  I'm attempting to resolve this from several angles, including
>> moving to a real coordinate space system, giving objects dimensions,
>> doing collision detection for things like trying to fit a dragon thru
>> a mousehole or a boulder into a purse. etc.  I suspect to really
>> resolve the job I'll have to move to a 3D graphical system (I'm
>> already leaning that way), but I'd like and try and resolve the
>> virtual aspects first (which text represents perfectly),  

>I've written about an idea to improve on this deficiency of current
>games on my design page in the faint hope somebody knowledgable would
>stumble on it and be able to comment more intelligently. Preferably
>somebody who could tell if the idea was feasible or not (and how it
>could be improved on without adding overly much complexities).
>The basic idea is to describe everything as 'boxes' with a given
>size. There should be two types: solid boxes and virtual boxes. The
>first type represents all objects in the game, the second all places
>that can be distinguished from other places (not rooms but also
>things like e.g. a forest). Boxes can be placed inside each other,
>and at a certain, position relative to each other. It also allows
>players (who are re-presented by such boxes too) to scramble over the 
>roofs of buildings or fly at second floor height through a street.

The problem here is that a lot of objects have difficult being
represented as boxes (I presume you are refering to rectangular
forms).  Its like trying to build a world out of LEGO with the
restriction that objects can't ne L-shaped, U-shaped, or other more
complex forms.

>Personally I belief this can be achieved without need for graphical
>games...

Agreed.  There are some aspects however that graphics resolve (or at
least remove).  A simple example is the question of anonymous groups
(a bunch of ballons, a group of orcs, etc), when the members of that
group are really distinct individually guided objects which just
happen to be physically proximate and to share a common appearance at
some level of detail.

>...Perhaps in time
>things will change but I tend to agree with those who say that it is
>easier to create an atmosphere for a game with words.

Absolutely.

>> As a start on such, given a coordinate space say, (and no, the user
>> won't ever see X,Y,Z coordinates) the question is how to parse and
>> handle prepositions.  I know the LIMA MUDLib can do it -- anybody here
>> familiar with it, or want to dig into it?

>Why not use: go to <something> and have your character move at a
>predefined speed in the general direction of wherever something is
>(provided it can be 'seen' from the current location. Things like
>'above', 'below' and all others are absolute to the world. 

Even those aren't absolute.  Stick a magnet on the underside of a
space ship, and then slip a piece of paper under the magnet.  The
paper is under the magnet and physically located above it.

>And
>'behind' is relative to the current orientation of the character. 

You are standing beside a car, looking thru a side window.  To your
left Bubba stands behind the car.  To your right, Boffo stands before
the car.  Bernie stands on the other side of the car.  Bernie can
_also_ be described as standing behind the car, tho he is in a
different position than Bubba who can also be described as "behind"
the car.

--
J C Lawrence                           Internet: claw at null.net
(Contractor)                           Internet: coder at ibm.net
---------------(*)               Internet: clawrenc at cup.hp.com
...Honorary Member Clan McFUD -- Teamer's Avenging Monolith...




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